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5 U.S. Artisans that Create Jewelry by Recycling


A true artist can visualize something beautiful out of anything! We are in awe of the jewelry that can be made from recycling. You might be thinking we are crazy, but just wait until you see how these five U.S. artisans are turning waste into art you can wear!
1. Hathorway has been a top seller in our boutique from day one. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, every piece is designed by designer, Jessica Phan, who wanted to reconnect with her Vietnamese heritage by preserving a 400-year-old craftsmanship which uses ethically-sourced buffalo horns, a material—like leather—that has been discarded from deadstock and the food industry in Vietnam. As an organic material, every piece will be completely one of a kind, each possessing its own exquisite colors and patterns. It’s a sign of respect to the buffalo, nothing is wasted. The jewelry is lightweight and absolutely stunning! Once you buy one piece, you will be hooked!
2. Smart Glass Recycled Jewelry Designs is another customer favorite at Ginger Threads Collections. Kathleen Plate, the talented artist behind Smart Glass Jewelry designs beautiful jewelry from post-consumer beverage bottles. Her creative passion was inspired in part by a childhood spent working on projects with her mother who taught her how to solder and work with stained glass. Smart Glass Jewelry was born while Kathleen was in graduate school. Kathleen needed a gift for a friend’s birthday, so she made a pair of earrings out of glass. Her friends raved so she decided to take her product to local festivals and craft shows. The move proved to be a promising start for the unknown artist who has since been commissioned by Coca Cola and Aveda to make jewelry from their bottles. Our customers tend to purchase piece after piece from this collection!
3. Moondance Artwork uses recycled copper, metals & found wood to create unique artwork. Kay, the artist grew up on a farm and learned how to weld, plasma cut & use tools as a way of life. As she produced more artwork, there were lots of small scrap metals. With these smaller pieces, she designed a line of unique recycled jewelry. She finds most of the materials from the metal bins at the recycle facility in Missoula. She uses wire, pipe, and old copper pieces in the jewelry. She even “harvests” pieces from old electronic components. All of the patina copper is done by hand using “recipes” she develops to create different variations of aged and rusted copper. This jewelry was a huge hit with our customers in Lake Tahoe and more pieces are on the way!
4. Compass Rose Design is a woman-owned, family-operated jewelry company founded by Creek and Johnny Van Houten. Their work is inspired by a curiosity about history and treasures collected through their travels. Compass Rose Design is inspired by the history of small things, 1870-1970, a century that bridges the old world and the modern era. Each charm and talisman celebrates love, creativity, and culture through the hidden stories of vintage keepsakes: buttons, keys, charms, and clocks. Weaving together modern designs with vintage stories, they are able to translate historic objects into wearable treasures. Each piece is handcrafted in Northern California with bronze, sterling and gold components made from recycled metals. The connection you feel to these pieces make them great gifts, with stories and memories to share! In fact, our first encounter with Creek, one of us had tears in our eyes when ordering a piece that felt very special to us.
5. Midori designer and owner Traci Morinaga, was a law student who decided to take an unexpected detour and turn her long-standing hobby into a business when motherhood beckoned. The Midori Jewelry Hawaiʻi style is classic with a modern flair and a tiny Asian twist and a nod to Hawaiʻi that can last through the seasons. All of her jewelry is freshly made in Kailua, Hawaiʻi using the highest quality recycled precious metals, sparkling gemstones, natural shells, an assortment of luminous fresh and saltwater pearls and other unique finds. Part of all of us longs to feel white sand crunch between our toes. We want a flower-scented breeze blowing through our hair. We picture a star-studded night while hearing the gentle, hypnotic crashing waves. Midori jewelry allows Traci to share this bliss with us through her beautiful creations. The pieces are absolute paradise to wear!

These are a few of our favorite jewelry artisans that have tackled sustainable fashion successfully! We hope this inspires you to support them and to look at things a bit differently. Maybe your recycling bin has something you can recreate into something beautiful, too!

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